This lesson provides an opportunity for primary children to see different kinds of families.

Katherine Bilsborough

In 1993 UNESCO declared 15 May as being the International Day of Families. 'Although families all over the world have transformed greatly over the past decades in terms of their structure and as a result of global trends and demographic changes, the United Nations still recognizes the family as the basic unit of society.' In 2018, The UN's theme for this special day was 'Families and Inclusive Societies'. The aim is to examine the role of families in advancing the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 16: promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

Most primary course books include a unit on families, but they are usually very traditional, with a mum, dad, brother and sister. This lesson provides teachers and primary children with an opportunity to see different kinds of families that might better reflect their own experiences. In this lesson primary children do a series of simple and supported vocabulary and reading activities which lead to them writing about their own families. At the end of the lesson they draw pictures of their families and they make a classroom display of their texts and pictures.


  • To revise family vocabulary and I've got/I haven't got
  • To show examples of different kinds of families where children might see their own experiences represented
  • To develop reading and writing skills
  • To have an opportunity to be creative in a supported way
  • To contribute to a class display

Age group



CEFR level A1/A2


40–50 minutes


The lesson plan and cards can be downloaded in PDF format below. In addition, you will need paper and crayons for drawing.

Lesson plan284.15 KB
Text cards44.92 KB
Image cards374.03 KB
Language Level


Submitted by Jason Jixun M… on Fri, 05/25/2018 - 01:52


In my mind, this course plan belongs to the part of 'Family Education', which can also be brought to classroom, public activities and much wide scenes. In the beautiful and curious eyes of our kids, some normal situations, good life conditions, different details and even strange things (from outside views)... from their parents and regarding with their family-structure can all be put into descriptive (interesting and innocent) languages and a great tolerability, by the reason that those were in their real lives. When reading those words, as a teacher, I usually felt very touched. In this time, it's especially about: Maya's and Eric's descriptions and pictures... Their words even have expressed some new hopes in an all-inclusive and opened society-formation in the future that some adults and traditional thinking ways cannot totally & bravely accept. However, a harmony, but from their eyes, has been composed out from their real life details, such as a Sunday lunch or a piece of fantastic home-made cake... The reason is that, their innocent eyes have all reflected LOVE as a main theme. This point, in my mind, can be made of some deep considerations and self-reflexivity by ourselves (adults). In addition, the structure of this course plan is very clear and operational - from outside demonstration (how to draw on board) to their inside self-expression (draw my own...), course's impression and motivation have absorbed and transformed as the self-observation and the personalized appreciation, from which the confidence and new hope of life can be constructed. Therefore, I would like to support this 'small but full of positive energy' course plan!

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